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Chelsea’s Flood Resilient Garden to take root in Oxfordshire

A garden showcasing flood resilience is to be permanently rehomed after this year’s Chelsea Flower Show to the picturesque grounds of Howbery Business Park in Oxfordshire, subject to planning approval.

Howbery is a particularly fitting venue for the Flood Re: Flood Resilient Garden because the park is owned by HR Wallingford, an organisation that helps develop resilient approaches to flooding.

The aim is for the Flood Re: Flood Resilient Garden be open to visitors, free of charge, at its Oxfordshire home from spring 2025. HR Wallingford and garden sponsors Flood Re, an insurance industry initiative that helps households at risk of flooding, believe embedding the garden at Howbery will offer lots of people the chance to enjoy and benefit from it.

For the Chelsea Flower Show this year, Environmental designer Dr Ed Barsley and celebrity gardener Naomi Slade are designing a beautiful and relatable space to show how domestic gardens can recover quickly after periods of heavy rainfall. Visitors are sure to leave with inspiration for flood-proofing their own green spaces, as well as ideas on how to use sustainable and recycled materials.

The Flood Resilient Garden will then be adapted from the Chelsea Flower Show to fit into the Howbery Park space. The design will be released later in the year and the team hope the reimagined garden will be installed late autumn.

HR Wallingford Director Andy Brown said: “We’re delighted that Flood Re has chosen us for the garden’s permanent home. We help people live and work sustainably with water, and this garden is not only a great example of how to bring sustainability to life, but also aligns with our work on sustainable urban drainage systems and flood resilience. The garden will also further enhance our already lovely Howbery Park grounds.”

Flood Re CEO Andy Bord added: “We are thrilled that our Flood Resilient Garden will find its forever home at Howbery Park alongside HR Wallingford and the National Flood School. The garden will not only be a beautiful space for everyone to enjoy for years to come but will offer a tangible example of how to create a beautiful outside space that is also flood resilient.”

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